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tv   A Force in Crisis  BBC News  May 7, 2018 2:30pm-3:01pm BST

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into wednesday and you can see the blue o's into wednesday and you can see the blue 0's 5 into wednesday and you can see the blue o's s that means cooler air. on wednesday another front moving into northern ireland, rain expected here and yet more fresher air into northern ireland. you can see how cool it is here. still 20 in the south—east. towards the middle part of the weekend, the fronts keep on moving through. so things are turning more unsettled as we go through the rest of the week. so atla ntic through the rest of the week. so atlantic winds win and we are in that fresher air. still a lot sunshine. but closer to what we should normally have this time of year. this time of year it is 18 the average. so cooling off in the week ahead. this is bbc news — our latest headlines. extra police are out in parts of london after separate shootings injust 2a hours which left one teenager dead
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and three others injured. vladimir putin is sworn in for a fourth term as president of russia, promising to improve the lives of the russian people. it marks 18 years in power. today is the hottest may day bank holiday since the long weekend was introduced in 1978. the met office says temperatures reached 24.2 celsius in east sussex and could rise as high as 28 degrees. now on bbc news — sam poling investigates the series of crises to have hit police scotland, five years after the creation of the national force. tonight — a police force in crisis. unauthorised surveillance, threats and intimidation of witnesses. the listjust goes on. they were spying on you? they were spying on me. frontline officers targeted.
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we're talking what, bugs? yes. listening devices? that information never left my head. never left my lips. corruption within the ranks. officers felt pressured to charge a person even when there's not enough evidence. they were saying i was corrupt and that they were investigating me as a corrupt officer. the department had a target. every shift had a target. every officer had a target. the evidence they did not want you to see. that's scored out because they don't want it. i can't see the word fear. is it in there? i look at this, and i am so disappointed. and trouble at the very top. what about your background? my background as a police officer? the allegations of sexual assault. it has been five years since scotland's eight police forces were merged into one. and the new national force has
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stumbled from crisis to crisis. i spent the last few months investigating what has gone wrong. i discovered a culture of secrecy and suspicion where target—driven policing has led to crime figures being manipulated and serious offences ignored. and corruption at the heart of the force. i begin by talking to as many officers as possible, serving and former. i want to know where they feel the problems began. eventually, i got a call from one of the most senior ranking officers around at the time of the merger. he tells me that there were concerns that bad practice and corruption from some legacy forces had carried on into police scotland. he won't go on camera, but these are his words spoken by an actor. some detectives were acting beyond their powers.
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they were cooking the books and skewing evidence of process. management wanted to know why. these officers were putting cases in jeopardy, and we thought it was a cultural thing of results at all cost. management wanted to see how widespread this was and stop the extreme behaviour. it isn't long before i discovered just how extreme. this is a document which i have had leaked to me. it is called the quality assurance review. it is dated november 2014. it was commissioned by the then chief constable, sir stephen house. the interesting bit is that i have also had leaked to me four previous versions of that report. this is the first one. this is how it started life. inside that first report
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are three memos, each outlining bad practice, unlawful behaviour and serious corruption. and all committed by police officers. this one is from the counter corruption unit. they have been looking at the tayside drugs branch, and it says the range of conduct issues identified is as follows. unauthorised surveillance. threats and intimidation of witnesses. unauthorised searches. unlawful, spurious detentions of suspect. colluding while compiling statements. failure to consider intelligence source protection issues. the listjust goes on. this is just the sort of corrupt behaviour my insider had told me about. none of it has ever been made public. i wondered whether those overseeing the force even knew about it. the scottish police authority's job is to maintain policing standards
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and hold the chief constable to account. moi ali resigned from its board last year after a row over transparency. brian barbour also resigned, citing government interference in how the police authority was run. i show them the memos. unauthorised surveillance. threats and intimidation of witnesses. unauthorised searches. it looks like really concerning stuff to me. that i have not seen before. i've not... allegations of this kind of behaviour have not come to my knowledge, been put to the board. would the authority have known about this? as an internal matter, the authority would not known about this until it went through disciplinary, and then come to the conduct and complaints committee. i was a member of the complaints and conduct committee
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which clearly this concerns and also the audit and risk committee which, again, i think would have a strong interest in these kinds of issues, if there was a pattern of behaviour. yes, i would expect to know about this. and i did not. when i checked the final version of the report, the memos are gone. and they're not the only omissions. the first version of the report is filled with quotes from officers. 334 in all were spoken to. officers on the beat are almost bullied into producing returns to satisfy management. questionable methods such as the re—categorisation of crime to meet targets. officers may feel under pressure to fake stop—search returns to boost the figures. in some instances, officers felt pressured to charge a person, even when there is not enough evidence, in order to meet targets. yet none of these quotes appear
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in the final version. i look at this, and i am so disappointed. it's shocking. yes. worse than you thought it would be? i never envisaged this, actually. i understand things go through a process. i would never have envisaged asking people their views and then misrepresenting them. an entire section of the first report is called fear. and the word "fear" seems to come up over and over again. fear of a backlash from the force executive. people are driven by fear. fear of missing targets. constant fear of being criticised. so how many times is that? one, two, three... the word "fear" appears ten times in the first report and in the final report,
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the word "fear" is just gone. i then begin to see the intervention of the chief constable‘s office. on the fourth version leaked to me, sir stephen house's handwriting is on it, as well as someone else‘s. the title page is expressions of fear and anxiety. that has been scored out because they don't want that. they want it to now be called culture and communications. if i look in the final report, it is culture and communication. the word "fear" has gone completely. the service talks about integrity — to take a culture of fear and translate it into a culture of communications, that is not something that carries integrity. another striking feature is the attempts from the very top to rewrite problems into the past tense. problems which affect the force, becomes affected. "is" becomes "was".
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this bit here... "communication in police scotland requires urgent and significant improvement." they've changed that to "required". then an e—mail is leaked to me that shows the chief constable does not want to just change the report — he is prepared to bury it altogether. the e—mail refers to a meeting which they had about the report and a single word which sir stephen house still wants changed. the chief will not allow the report to be tabled unless this is amended. the e—mail explains where the word is, and it says it is in a sentence, "it is clear that much anxiety and uncertainty as to what was expected remains among staff at operational unit level." the proposal is to change that "remains" to "existed". apparently, this was almost a last straw from the chief, and there is a danger that he will
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suppress this unless amended. it then says if the amendment is agreed to, than the report would be tabled. do you notice the tense changes? oh! how interesting. i am shocked that the chief constable‘s office should see fit to try to, pretty much, obliterate any criticism whatsoever. if this is what the report found, then this is what it found, and this is what should have been published. it has been changed and diluted, and the message that has come out isn't the view of those who expressed it in the first place. the reason the report was commissioned in the first place was to tackle misconduct in the ranks. i show the various different drafts to an organisation that investigates and tackles corruption around the world. they've had time to look at the papers,
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so i'm going to call him now. this is robert barrington, the director. robert. hello. thanks very much for taking this call. you have had time to look at the papers. what you have over the course of the draft is something that becomes steadily less transparent, less challenging, something that is less of a comfortable environment for people who were trying to highlight cases of corruption and highlight issues that were going on inside the force. when you have a culture that does not operate transparently and does not encourage people to speak out, those are actually the conditions in which corruption can thrive rather than that in which it is exposed. he's basically saying that they were investigating allegations of corruption, and that was the reason behind this report, and yet it would seem that from what we have discovered that this is not a culture which is conducive
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to actually tackling corruption. former chief constable sir stephen house, who commissioned the report, declined to comment. police scotland told us that significant changes have been implemented since the report was written and last year it launched a well—being strategy for all officers and staff. the report, the differing versions, the editing, the apparent rewriting of history — it all calls into question the integrity of policing at that time. the main reason the review was commissioned was to root out bad practice and corruption within the ranks. yet i was to hear the same allegations made against the very unit set up to tackle it. i'm innocent.
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the question is, are you? in tv world it is known as ac12, made famous by the bbc drama line of duty. i am just doing myjob. and i am doing mine. it is called nicking bent coppers. i don't care if it is one rotten apple or the whole bloody barrel. in real life, this was the head of police scotland's counter corruption unit until 2013. it was his job to go after the rotten apples. the corruption deal with all criminality with allegations of police staff, which can be anything from drug misuse, drug supply, theft, fraud. one of the unit's biggest concerns that was about lea ks from within the force — officers selling information to journalists and to organised crime groups. what they could do was utilise that officer to obtain information from police that would help their individual crime.
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the means of investigating that are exactly the same means we used to investigate criminality within the wider population. we are talking, what? bugs? cameras. listening devices. yes. the ccu was obliged to report every suspected data protection breach. officers whom they believed were accessing the police intelligence database with no justifiable policing purpose. this meant some officers who claimed they were using the system to help solve crimes instead found themselves labelled corrupt and facing prosecution. alan. nice to meet you. alan cotton was a detective based in glasgow. in 2009, there was an attempted murder in ayrshire. there were firearms and machetes involved,
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and the victim nearly lost an arm. an eyewitness with a criminal background contacted him to pass on information about the attack. alan cotton looked at reports linked to the crime, even though it wasn't his case. would that have been normal, for you to have looked at that? it would be normalfor any professional detective to do so. you do not want to be going to a senior investigating officer and wasting their time with inaccurate information. you did not do anything with it? you did not sell it to anyone? not at all. see what you just did there. "you didn't sell it." that was my automatic response. people would think that. they think i must have sold the information, because that is what the general public think a data protection offence would be, that you took that information and misused it. what i did was look at the information.
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it did not leave my head. it never left my lips, i never wrote it down, i never sent any information over to anyone. the counter corruption unit accused him of misusing the information. he was reported for a data protection offence. the criminal case was deserted on the eve of the trial. but an internal police inquiry found him guilty of a procedural breach. after a 21—year otherwise unblemished career, alan cotton left the force believing he was a victim of the ccu. what was the most common allegation against officers? without a doubt, data protection offence. data protection — why? because it's a low hanging fruit. what would you say to those who would argue that these data protection breaches were low hanging fruit, they were easy gets? absolutely not. it was always the last part of the inquiry. the criminality alleged was the first part of the inquiry we'd investigate, and data protection came in the wash—up of something we had to report.
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to call it low hanging fruit would not be true? no. i put this to iain livingston, who has been the acting chief constable since september. a number of cases you are talking about were all cases that emerged from the legacy forces where it has taken an awful long time, through the crown and other agencies involved in the justice system, and when these came to court, there was either insufficiency or the evidence wasn't appropriate. my primary objective is to prevent any breach so that people are properly trained and understand what their responsibilities are and use the data appropriately. absolutely, unapologetically, if people are abusing data and disclosing that to people they should not be doing that to, they must be held to account for that. the ccu's robust pursuit of officers
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proved deeply unpopular among the rank and file. but it was the tactics it deployed in one particular case which put the corruption unit firmly in the headlines. it was in this isolated woodland in lanarkshire where the body of a young woman was found in may 2005. she was emma caldwell. her killer has never been found. ten years later, a sunday newspaper took another look at her case. this is what appeared in the sunday mail. crucially, it contained specific details about the police case and how the murder inquiry had ignored a man believed to be a suspect. i remember reading this at the time and feeling quite excited to see what the police were going to do next. we now know exactly what that was. david moran was a detective
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inspector in glasgow. the emma caldwell inquiry, were you involved in that? no, not at all. so what happened ? what happened was that, 5th april 2015, i read an article in the sunday mail which purported to expose a forgotten suspect in the emma caldwell murder inquiry. i could see the journalist had written it, but i also could see that an ex—colleague of mine who had been closely involved in compiling information for the article, he must have had access to detailed information, which i knew right away the police would be furious that that information had got out. instead of reopening the murder investigation, police scotland put its energies into finding the leak. the counter corruption unit made these applications, applying for permission to access text details and phone records of several officers. david moran was one of its targets,
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yet the ccu hadn't sought the necessary approval of a judge, making the applications unlawful. they were spying on you? they were spying on me, yes. through your phones. through my phones, yes. it made me feel a mixture of anger, disappointment, disgust, surprise. because these were tactics you had been using for years against other people, against murder suspects. serious organised crime rings. indeed. they'd obviously identified me as a suspect for leaking information that appeared in the sunday mail. so you're david moran, corrupt cop? yeah, and there has been no move by police scotland to put that right, and that's what i crave. and, meanwhile, emma caldwell‘s familyjust have to sit and wait. i feel so bad for emma caldwell‘s mother, that she sat and listened to me moaning about my phone details getting looked at when she has
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lost her daughter and hasn't had any proper answers. i do feel bad about that. police scotland eventually apologised to all the officers who were targeted by the ccu and reopened the investigation into the murder of emma caldwell. do you look back on that episode with, what, concern? it was very poorly handled by the ccu at the time and mistakes were made, errors ofjudgment were made. the structure and leadership and management of the ccu needed changed, and it has been changed. you accept it needed change? absolutely, and i repeat the apology we made to the individuals involved and their families. that should not have taken place, and we as an organisation will continue to focus on trying to detect the murder of emma caldwell, because that is the key thing for coming out of these sets of circumstances. the overzealous pursuit of data breaches
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and unlawful spying on officers are just two of the scandals to have hit police scotland since it began. industrial—scale stop and searches. armed officers on routine patrol. the death of sheku bayoh in custody. and the couple left dying for days in a crashed car by the m9. their deaths sealed the departure of sir stephen house in 2015. the time has come to move on and take up new opportunities. his replacement was philip gormley. he only lasted two years, quitting over bullying allegations which he denies. deputy chief constable iain livingston stepped in as high—profile suspensions of officers rocked the force. there is no crisis in policing.
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but are there questions about his own suitability for the role? i have just searched iain livingstone‘s name online, and the fourth entry to come up is this one which talks about allegations of sexual misconduct made against him in 2003. that was when he was in the lothian and borders force. a female constable claimed she was sexually assaulted by iain livingstone at tulliallan police training college. no criminal charges were brought, but he was heavily reprimanded by his own force for inappropriate conduct. he was taken down four ranks — he appealed and was reinstated. what about your background? my background as a police officer? the allegations of sexual assault. you ended up admitting misconduct, staying in the room
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of a junior officer. you were bumped down from superintendent to constable and suspended, am i right? no, you are not right. you weren't taken down from superintendent to constable? no, i wasn't taken down and then suspended. there was a set of circumstances in 2000 whereby at a social event, at a training event, i had too much to drink, i fell asleep in the wrong place, and that was wrong, and i shouldn't have done that, and clearly i accept that. i was suspended and spent time off work. there was a hearing convened where i did accept i fell asleep, i was cleared of any sexual impropriety. of any level of sexual intent, and at that hearing, initially, i was then demoted from superintendent to constable. i immediately appealed against that and was reinstated. i came back to work and accepted i had made a mistake, and i accepted i have learnt from it,
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and since that time i have continued to conduct my duties with absolute rigour and professionalism. the public wants a strong, professional leader with integrity in their chief constable. is that you? i do think i could do thejob, ijust need to be quite clear in my own mind that that is what i want to do for the next 3—5 years. integrity, fairness and respect are the very values upon which policing in scotland is based. yet i wonder where they can be seen in what i have found. the pressure on officers to meet targets. the silencing of those on the front line. and the rewriting of history by those whose job it was to lead. police scotland is looking for its fourth chief constable in as many years. how will they fix a force in crisis? it isa
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it is a beautiful day out there, temperatures in the south of the country have hit 28 celsius, so we have more than smashed that record from 1999, which was 23.6, but let me make it clear it is for the early may bank holiday monday, not any bank holiday in may, just that monday. so that is the temperature, shooting up through the course of the day, you can see the oranges,
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look how warm it is across the continent, temperatures very similar to us. so this afternoon, around 28 degrees in london, widely into the mid 20s elsewhere, low 20s further north. so a beautiful day, a little bit fresh on the sum of the coasts, it has been on the chilly side in one 01’ it has been on the chilly side in one or two spots. through this evening and overnight, the weather will turn across western areas, rain expected in belfast, a little bit later in the morning, weather fronts pushing off the atlantic, and behind this weather front we have cooler oceanic air coming this weather front we have cooler oceanic aircoming in. this weather front we have cooler oceanic air coming in. so this is what it looks like first thing on tuesday, rain moves through more than island into western scotland, also some spots of rain there in northern parts of wales. —— rain moves through northern ireland. these are showers that could develop during the course of the day. and then the fronts move through the course of tuesday night into wednesday, in fact more weather
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fronts lining up in the atlantic, which means the weather well and truly will be cooling off, so rain moving through ireland, northern ireland through wednesday, rain in belfast, the western isles, glasgow getting some rain too, starting to cool across eastern and southern areas, but still making around 20 in london. wednesday night into thursday, we have got fresh air is still coming off the atlantic, but plenty of bright weather around. i think, on balance, thursday not looking bad at all. one or two scattered showers here and there. temperatures, decent enough across the south—east, 17, but perhaps a little on the low side and some of the north—western areas. so as far as the week ahead is concerned, cooling down, a little bit of rain in the north—west, and there will be some sunshine around as well. that is the latest from me. this is bbc news.
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i'm lukwesa burak. the headlines. in the absence of direct talks with the us president the foreign secretary goes on donald trump's favourite tv show to make his point over iran. working with our european friends, we think we can be tougher on iran, but not throw away the heart of deal which is about stopping them getting nuclear weapons. extra police on patrol in london — after four shootings in just 2a hours leaves one teenager dead and three others injured. vladimir putin is sworn—in for a fourth term as president — promising to improve the lives of the russian people. record—breaking weather for a may bank holiday monday — as temperatures reach 27.6 degrees at heathrow airport.

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